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College is a busy time of our lives where we're getting an education that will line us up for what we plan to do for the foreseeable future. However, with college comes expenses, such as tuition and board, and general day-to-day spending. You may be looking to make money in college to cover these expenses, but your schedule is busy, and finding a job doesn't fit in. In this case, you're looking to make money in college without a job.
A great thing about college is that there are so many options open to you. Whether you live in a college town or somewhere more remote, there are definitely different ways you can earn money without a job.
Let's jump right in and discuss the benefits of working for yourself. We'll then go into some great side hustle ideas to get you earning real money while you spend your next few years studying in college.
- Benefits to Making Money in College Without a Job
- Ideas for Making Money in College Without a Job
- 6. Petsit for Locals
- 7. Take up Babysitting
- 8. Teach English Online
- 9. Make Money Doing Crafts
- 10. Start a Print-on-Demand Business
- 11. Start a Dropshipping Business
- 12. Sell Your Plasma
- 13. Do Tasks on TaskRabbit
- 14. Work as a Translator or Interpreter
- 15. Be a Mystery Shopper
- 16. Start a Blog
- 17. Write and Sell an eBook
- 18. Test Websites on UserTesting
- 19. Be a Virtual Assistant
- 20. Sell Services on Fiverr
- 21. Do Graphic Design
- 22. Create a YouTube Channel
- 23. Become a Transcriptionist Online
- 24. Launch an Online Course
- 25. Become an SEO Consultant
- 26. Rent Your Car
- 27. Rent Your Stuff
- 28. Join Rent-a-Friend
- 29. Earn Money Through CashBack
- 30. Deliver Groceries
- 31. Make Money Through Online Gaming
- 32. Sell Stock Photography
- What To Do With The Money You Make In College
- Wrapping It Up
Benefits to Making Money in College Without a Job
While having a traditional job in college has its merits, you may want to pursue entrepreneurship for several reasons. Here are some benefits to working for yourself while in college.
You Have More Control Over Your Own Schedule
With a job, you'll likely have a work schedule that requires you to plan everything else around. Planning your life around a work and class schedule can be stressful. Instead, when you work for yourself, you have more control over when you work and when you do leisurely activities. In short, you have more control over your free time.
You Have More Options to Earn More Money
Depending on what you do to earn money, you very well may earn more money working for yourself than you would working at a job. This, of course, is highly dependent on what you do to make money and what a typical job in your area pays.
Campus jobs, for example, generally don't pay very well. That said, if you're going into a technical field, an internship may make more sense in college as you'll earn valuable experience that will help you land a job later. Of course, if you're not going into a field where internships are common, then making money on your own without a job may be the way to go.
You Learn About Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is all about solving problems for your target audience. It's about market research, creating a product or service, and selling that product or service to your audience. In addition, you’ll learn about managing a work/life balance and how to start up a profitable business from scratch. Even if you only do a side hustle a day or two a week, you'll still learn what it's like to be responsible for creating your own variable income versus showing up at work every day and collecting a paycheck.
You Can Get a Wide Array of Experience
When you work for yourself, the type of work you do is up to you, and you'll get loads of experience. Experience can range from customer service, tracking your books, sales, marketing, creating a product, research, and much more. In addition, taking the initiative to run your own business makes you more marketable to companies once you graduate college and start looking for full-time work. In fact, when combining good grades, your college degree, and the experience you've picked up, you will have a better chance of negotiating a higher starting pay at wherever you end up working.
Ideas for Making Money in College Without a Job
You've read the benefits; now, let's jump right into creative ways to make money as a student without getting a job.
1. Tutor Other Students
Are you academically inclined in one or more subjects? It's common for fellow students to struggle in one area or another, and this is the perfect opportunity to earn some money while also helping someone get through school. The amount of money you can make from tutoring varies on the subject and the level of subject matter. For example, you may be able to make more money tutoring differential equations or inorganic chemistry than you may be able to writing basic essays for a course on college writing.
Starting up a tutoring business can be as simple as posting fliers around your college campus or reaching out to professors and asking them to recommend struggling students to you. You can also post to online local forums.
If you want to tutor online, Chegg.com is a website that allows you to tutor many subjects to people all over the place.
As an in-person tutor, the average tutor can earn around $40 per hour across many subjects, but tutoring ranges vary as much as $25 to $80 an hour. On a website like Chegg, your pay will likely be less, though you have the potential to have more clients with less effort finding them.
2. Ghostwrite for Blogs
Ghostwriting is a lucrative way to earn money if you have solid writing skills. Many professional bloggers don't have time to write all of their own content and instead want to hire ghostwriters to generate content for them.
Great places to look for ghostwriting gigs include Fiverr, Upwork, or Facebook groups where bloggers congregate. You will likely see a wide array of rates that people charge. If you are confident in your writing, don't shortchange yourself. Specifically, if you learn SEO and do SEO writing, you can most certainly charge quite a bit more for your articles.
The amount you charge will be based on who's hiring you and what they'll do with your content. Factor in your skillset as well. Ranges for ghostwriting can be as low as 3 cents per word to as high as 25 cents or more, especially if you include SEO and research in your writing.
3. Deliver Food with DoorDash
With DoorDash you can earn money delivering food from local restaurants to customers. If you live in a college town, you could potentially earn a lot of money delivering food to hungry students as orders go in at all times of the day and night. It's common to earn between $2 and $10+ per delivery, where higher paying deliveries are those that are farther away or less popular for other Dashers to pick up.
4. Drive People Around on Lyft
The ridesharing service, Lyft, is popular in many areas. You'll take people from where they are to where they need to go and earn money for doing so. More populated areas generally mean more prospective clients to drive around.
Lyft estimates that their average drivers earn $18.83 an hour though your results may vary greatly depending on where you live, what times of day, and what days of the week you're active on the service.
5. Sign Up For Online Survey Sites
If you're looking to earn some extra money in your spare time without committing too much effort, online survey sites are a great solution. Swagbucks and Survey Junkie are two such sites where you can earn money for your opinion. While you may only earn $2-$3 per day filling out surveys, this side change could be used for pizza money, bus fare, coffee money, or cash for tolls, as some examples.
Survey Junkie is a more traditional survey site that mostly specializes in just surveys. Click here to open a free account. You can also read our Survey Junkie review for more information.
Swagbucks is a rewards platform, and not only can you earn money through filling out surveys, but you can also earn extra cash by playing games on your phone, shopping online, and signing up for various free offers. Use this link to sign up for a free Swagbucks account and earn a bonus of $5. You can also read our Swagbucks review for more information.
You won't earn a ton of money on survey sites, but the side change might be handy, plus you can do it in your spare time, any time of day, any day of the week.
6. Petsit for Locals
Pet owners often need a sitter for when they're away from home, and you can use a site like Roverr.com to get matched up with dog owners in your area. Likewise, you can also post online on sites like Craigslist that you're available to watch animals.
Knowing animal first aid, being highly reliable, and having references are all important aspects of running a petsitting side hustle or business.
Pet sitters commonly earn $25 per hour, but rates have been known to vary in different areas, sometimes as low as $15 an hour to as high as $50 an hour.
7. Take up Babysitting
Babysitting is a popular side hustle for college students. To make yourself more marketable as a babysitter, having a CPR certification and other babysitting certs under your belt is handy. The Red Cross offers babysitting certifications that can usually be completed in just a few days.
In 2019, babysitters were known to average $16.75 per hour, which is more than double the minimum wage. This makes this gig quite lucrative if watching children is something you feel responsible enough to do and enjoy doing.
8. Teach English Online
Teaching English to kids in foreign countries is a rewarding endeavor that also pays pretty decently. On VIPKid.com, you can teach kids English and earn $14 to $22 per hour for doing so. The main requirements are that you're able to work in the US, have a bachelor's degree, and have a reliable webcam, microphone, computer, and internet.
As this gig requires a bachelor's degree, teaching English online may be more suited for graduate students or those who are looking for a way to make money right after college.
9. Make Money Doing Crafts
Crafting is popular among many people and great to do in your spare time. There are so many craft and DIY projects that you can do to earn some extra money. Perhaps you're into crochet and want to sell blankets, scarfs, hats, or hand warmers.
Whatever craft you're into, you can earn money in several ways while hanging out in your dorm room. Here's three ideas:
- Sell what you make in person or on Etsy.
- Create patterns and sell the digital patterns on a website like Raverly or Etsy.
- Teach others how to do your craft, in-person or online. If you go with the online route, you can do live training or pre-recorded videos.
10. Start a Print-on-Demand Business
You can start a clothing and miscellaneous apparel selling business from the comfort of your dorm room or apartment via print on demand. First, create your designs on Canva and import them into a fulfillment company like Printify. Then create a store with a site like Shopify, and you'll have your own print-on-demand business.
Of course, you'll have to determine what to sell and how much to sell it for, as well as market your products. Print-on-demand can be lucrative. For example, if it costs you $12 to have a shirt printed and $5 to ship it, and you sell it at $27, then you've made a $10 profit per sale, minus transaction fees.
Check out our comprehensive guide on how to make money with print on demand.
11. Start a Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping, in short, is where you are the middle man between a manufacturer and the customer. You don't have any inventory. Instead, you create an e-commerce store, and when someone orders something from your store, you, in turn, order it from the manufacturer, and they ship it directly to the customer.
Using a website like Aliexpress.com, you can find many amazing deals on items that you can sell in your store, cashing in on the margin between the price you charge and the price you pay for the product plus shipping.
12. Sell Your Plasma
Selling your plasma is a different process than simply donating blood, and according to MagnifyMoney.com, you can earn between $30 and $60 each session. You'll need to bring some documents with you, and you may experience some side effects afterward. Some plasma centers will allow you to donate once every 48 hours, meaning you can earn some extra money every few days.
Not only can selling your plasma be an easy way to make money, but you could save someone's life, a reward in itself.
13. Do Tasks on TaskRabbit
At TaskRabbit, you can hire yourself out to do just about anything for people who need help. Some tasks include moving heavy furniture, doing yard work, handyman services, and other physical activities that many need help with.
You can earn a wide variety of money, depending on your task. For example, a task such as heavy lifting can earn you as much as $60 per hour. Other less physically strenuous tasks average between $15 and $30 per hour.
14. Work as a Translator or Interpreter
A good option for bilingual or multilingual students or those taking language courses is to do translation work on Speakt. On Speakt, you can earn money translating documents from one language to another.
Additionally, being a private translator or interpreter may be up your alley as many people have family members in America who have limited to no skill in speaking English. They may need help for everyday tasks like filling out paperwork and communicating with professionals, and you working for them as their interpreter is a great way for you to make some extra money and help someone at the same time.
15. Be a Mystery Shopper
Mystery Shoppers can earn money by shopping at local stores and providing feedback about their experience. By filling out a survey about your experience, you will help the retailer, restaurant, or wherever you are assigned to shop improve the experience for their customers.
A great place to sign up to be a mystery shopper is Secret Shopper. They typically pay $15 to $25 per assignment, and you do not need to pay a fee to start working for them. All you need is access to a scanner or a digital camera, such as your phone, to take pictures of your receipts.
When you shop, you may spend money on a purchase, however, Secret Shopper will reimburse you for your purchases.
16. Start a Blog
Starting a blog can be quite the lucrative way to make money, however, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Blogging can take a couple of years before you start seeing significant money, but that said, some bloggers replace their full-time income with their blog given time.
As a blogger, you can earn money through ad revenue, affiliate marketing, writing sponsored content, and selling products and services.
A lot goes into blogging, so it makes sense to thoroughly think out if you have a year or more to dedicate to this endeavor. Click here to check out our beginner's guide to making money as a blogger.
17. Write and Sell an eBook
Writing one or more eBooks is a great way to make money if you target a particular subject that sparks a lot of interest. Ebooks can be sold on Amazon or if you're looking to keep more of the commissions and do more of the marketing yourself, consider using a private selling platform like Gumroad.
You'll likely not make a large sum of money off one eBook, but if you're able to regularly publish eBooks and market them well, you'll have the opportunity to earn a fair share of passive income from the sales.
An interesting idea if you have capital is to hire a ghostwriter to write your eBook for you. This will save you time at the cost of money. An option like this may be handy for someone already earning money from another side hustle or earning money from previous eBook sales. You'll be able to streamline multiple eBooks this way and up your earnings.
18. Test Websites on UserTesting
Usertesting.com is a website where you can test other websites to earn money. You'll earn $10 for every 20-minute test that you do. The process involves recording yourself on the site and sharing your experience and opinions on what you test.
You may only be able to do a few tests here and there, so this particular way of making money may not be hugely lucrative, but when you're focused on stacking your income, Usertesting.com can make for a nice additional chunk of change in your bank account.
19. Be a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant, also called a VA, can do many tasks for a business ranging from writing blog posts, graphic design, answering emails and calls, booking appointments, and more.
VAs offer many services that are competitive, so you'll have to put on your thinking cap to stand out from your competition. This can include having amazing writing and communication skills, being highly reliable, and willing to work a variety of hours, and willing to learn whatever skills your clients need of you.
VAs charge a large range of rates depending on what they're doing. Therefore, it’s best to do some research on the services you're going to be doing before coming up with a quote for your prospective clients.
20. Sell Services on Fiverr
Fiverr is a site where you can offer services for things ranging from things such as:
- Graphic Design
- Voice-over acting
- Website work
- Craft teaching
This is not a comprehensive list, and you can earn quite a bit on Fiverr once you're established. However, many Fiverr sellers will often undercut one another, and you may feel that you can't possibly make money, so here's a strategy.
Start by offering services at a discounted rate while you're a Level 1 seller. Gain as many 5-star feedback and positive comments. When you become a level 2 seller, up your prices and use your reputation to sell your services better. Write excellent copy in your listings and be amazing at what you do. You'll attract more attention, and former clients will refer others to you, allowing you to build up a profitable business.
21. Do Graphic Design
If you're talented with visual arts, you can make money in college without a job by doing graphic design. A graphic designer designs visual things such as logos, media kits, brochures, pictures for magazines, reports, and advertisements. You'll use computer software such as Canva, Photoshop, and GIMP, to name a few.
Graphic designers can work at traditional jobs or can freelance. As a college student, you may prefer to go at your own pace and be a freelance graphic designer.
The amount of money you can make as a graphic designer varies significantly on the type of project you're doing and who your client is.
22. Create a YouTube Channel
If you're into making videos, YouTube can be a lucrative way to make money in college without a job. Common videos that can be well-monetized are tutorials, top 10 type videos, product recommendations, and product reviews. When making these videos, you can earn money through ads as well as affiliate marketing.
Remember, YouTube is a very competitive space, and it will take time to get traction. You'll want to learn YouTube SEO and truly make high-quality videos that help your audience and, most importantly, keeps their attention so that you can help them.
23. Become a Transcriptionist Online
On websites like Rev.com, you can earn money for transcribing audio recordings into text. As you'll need to hear the audio perfectly, it's a good idea to find a quiet location or wear noise-canceling headphones when you do this line of work.
What's great about Rev.com is that you can work as much or as little as you want, and they'll pay you weekly via PayPal. This way, you can have regular income coming in as there is generally a lot of available work to do on the site.
Rev reports that skilled transcriptionists can earn $15 per hour or more.
24. Launch an Online Course
Over recent years, online education has become increasingly popular. More and more courses pop up every day, yet the market for them still remains strong. The trick is figuring out how to compete.
When coming up with a course idea, the first thing you'll want to do is identify a niche that you're knowledgeable about that also isn't heavily tapped. The less competition that exists out there for your topic, the more you can charge without worrying about prospective buyers buying from the competition.
Marketing a course can be tricky, and it helps to have something like a blog, YouTube channel, or email list to get people to sign up. In addition, offering some free lessons to entice future students can get the ball rolling.
Once you've made some sales and gotten students, you can offer affiliate commissions to current students to refer others to your course. This can help cut the costs of advertising and allow others to do marketing for you.
Courses have no set price. It's really dependent on the topic and what you cover. Some courses cost $40; some cost $2000. Doing extensive market research will help you determine where your course's price will land.
25. Become an SEO Consultant
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of bringing in higher quality and higher quantity traffic to a website from search engines. SEO Consultants work with businesses and bloggers to help their websites rank better on search engines, primarily Google.
As an SEO Consultant, you'll do things like:
- Keyword research
- Updating and optimizing articles
- Building backlinks
- Technical SEO
- Local SEO
- Speeding up sites
SEO changes all the time, so buying a book or an SEO course might not make sense unless the content is updated regularly. Instead, following big-name SEO brands like Neil Patel, Backlinko, or the SEMrush blog comes in handy.
26. Rent Your Car
If you plan on staying on campus for an extended period, then you might consider renting out your car. On a website like Turo, you can rent out your car each day to make money. Fancier cars can be rented out for more money, but that said, just about any car has the potential to earn you cash.
Turo handles the insurance for you, so you don't have to worry about covering damages in case the person who rents your car has an accident. They'll also handle the transaction, so all you have to do is list your car on their site and be present when someone comes to pick up or drop off your car.
The amount of money you'll get per day greatly varies, but some have seen in the range of $100 to $300 per day, based on location and type of car.
27. Rent Your Stuff
Have stuff you're not currently using? On a site like Loanables.com, you can rent out your stuff to locals in the area.
People rent things like:
- Musical instruments
This isn't an exhaustive list. However, if there's a need for it, you can probably rent it on Loanables.com.
28. Join Rent-a-Friend
Rentafriend.com is a place where you can get paid to hang out with people. This interesting side hustle will allow you to meet people in your area who need someone to go places with. Reasons that someone might rent a friend include:
- Plus one at an event
- Play games for a day
- Watch a movie
- Go biking/hiking
Rentafriend.com reports that many “friends” can make up to $50 per hour, but it's also common for the renter to pay for the friend's meals or tickets to wherever they're going in lieu of the hourly rate. This can be a fun, non-traditional way to experience things with new people while also earning money.
29. Earn Money Through CashBack
Cashback is a form of passive income. When you spend normally, you earn part of the spent money back as income. Of course, if you purposefully spend money to get cashback, you won't be helping yourself, but that said, using cashback credit cards or apps like Swagbucks will allow you to earn money while spending money in a typical fashion.
Some cashback credit cards will pay as much as 5% cash back on qualifying purchases, essentially giving you a nickel for each dollar you spend.
30. Deliver Groceries
An excellent way to make money with your car is to deliver groceries with a service like Shipt. As a Shipt Shopper, you'll first apply and get interviewed and, once approved, make up to $22 per hour shopping and delivering food for people who live in the area.
The requirements to work at Shipt, according to their website, are:
- 18 years or older
- Valid US drivers license and insurance
- A vehicle from 1997 or newer
- Knowledge of produce selection
- Ability to lift 40 pounds
- An iPhone or Android smartphone
If you have a fair share of downtime on certain days of the week, delivering groceries through Shipt might be a great option for you to make money as a student.
31. Make Money Through Online Gaming
An interesting way to make money as a college student without a job is to play online games and sell accounts, leveling, and items on a site like PlayerAuctions.com. In many online games, especially MMORPGs, or Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games, you can sell a wide variety of services for cash.
Finding a niche within a game can be pretty lucrative; however, be warned that most online games prohibit the activity of selling in-game items, currency, or services for real-life money. This is called RMT or Real Money Trading, and many online game companies will ban you if you get caught. That said, this is still a very profitable endeavor if you do it under the radar, and it's popular enough that some people make a living by simply selling items and services in games.
32. Sell Stock Photography
If you're a great photographer with a keen eye for imagery, you can make money selling stock photography on a site like istockphoto.com. Simply put, you'll earn money each time someone downloads one of your photos. Some tips to making amazing stock photography include:
- Use tons of light
- Take multiple photos
- Use the highest quality settings on your camera
- Take visually appealing photos that draw people's attention
What To Do With The Money You Make In College
At some point, you'll have to decide what to do with your hard-earned cash. You might bank it until you graduate, or you might use it as you complete your studies. Here are five ideas for how to spend the money you make in college.
Pay Off Student Loans
Student loan debt can be crippling, and using the money you made in college to pay off this debt may make sense. Depending on how much money you made in college, you may be able to walk away free of student loans.
Save for a Down Payment on a House
You may be thinking about moving to a house or condo when you finish college, and using the money you made may be enough for a solid down payment. Homeownership comes with many benefits, and if you're interested in owning, then this might be a good use of your college hustle money.
Make Future Plans With Your Significant Other
If a wedding is on the horizon, then the money you made in college could make your special day even more special by allowing for more guests, can spend more on entertainment, and make your honeymoon even more amazing. In 2020, the average wedding cost $19,000, so whether you have a simple wedding or a lavish one, having the money to pay for it if you're not covered by family will allow you to have a wonderful event without sinking into debt.
Fully Fund a Business
You may have gained significant business experience while making money in college on your own without a job. Using the money you made, you may fully fund a business endeavor and continue to earn money after college by working for yourself. In addition, you may start hiring others to help you and start to expand, which will raise your income even further.
Of course, you could also simply reward yourself with your hard-earned dough and buy yourself something special like a new sports car or a trip to somewhere exotic. While saving for your future makes good financial sense, enjoying yourself once in a while does as well. So, if you're not sure what to do with your money, consider rewarding yourself for getting through college successfully
Wrapping It Up
Making money in college with a job certainly is possible. It may be preferable to you based on your schedule, and the opportunities working for yourself can bring you.
What are some ways you plan to do to make money, or how did you make money in college?